Some of us went to dinner, and Grapefruit, my club's sourpuss member, came along.
"I'm surprised he takes meals," Cy the Cynic told me. "The man's so negative I didn't think he'd even eat food that agreed with him."
When Grapefruit's steak came, he eyed its ungenerous size in disgust. "This is no restaurant," he growled, "it's a Bureau of Missing Portions."
Back at the club, Grapefruit had to locate a missing person -- the queen of diamonds -- in today's deal. He took the ace of clubs, led a heart to the king, finessed with the jack and cashed the ace. West threw a spade. Grapefruit then shrugged and took the A-K of diamonds. East showed out, and the result was down three.
Nobody dared say a word, of course. Would you find the missing queen?
West was known to have four clubs and two hearts. If he had only two diamonds, he'd have five spades and would have led a spade against 3NT. Grapefruit needed to cash the ace of diamonds and let the jack ride.
You hold: A 10 8 Q 10 9 3 6 K J 9 7 4. The dealer, at your left, opens one spade. Your partner doubles, and the next player raises to two spades. What do you say?
A: Your partner has opening values or more and support for the unbid suits, especially hearts. Since he probably has a singleton spade, and you have a fine 10 points, stretch slightly and bid four hearts. You'd compete with a bid of three hearts if your ace of spades were a low spade.
K J 2
K 6 5
K 10 8 3 2
9 7 6 5
Q 9 5
Q 10 6 2
A 10 8
Q 10 9 3
K J 9 7 4
Q 4 3
A J 7 2
A J 7 4
South West North East
1 NTPass3 NTAll Pass
Opening lead -- 2